Monday, March 17, 2008

ECHL player may face assault charges over on ice incident

An on ice incident in the ECHL earlier this month, has a Victoria Salmon Kings player waiting to see if he'll be facing assault charges.

On March 1st, Robin Gomez who has since been suspended from the Salmon Kings line up, was involved in an altercation with the Las Vegas Wranglers Chris Ferraro.

According to the Victoria Times Colonist, at the time of the second period incident, Gomez had surprised Ferraro with a punch to the face, reportedly with enough force to send Ferraro to the ice where he hit his head.

Ferraro suffered injuries serious enough to require a number of stitches to stop the bleeding and at the end of the game he filed a formal complaint with the police.

The Victoria police then investigated the incident and determined that the severity of the injuries warranted charges of assault, a decision which now rests in the hands of the Crown Prosecutor, who will decided whether the case should go ahead or not.

The ECHL issued their maximum fine and suspended Gomez for the rest of the season and the playoffs on March 6th . The Salmon Kings also have publicly gone on the record as not condoning his behaviour.

The Police intend to officially hand the file over to the Crown within the next couple of weeks.
The CBC has a story and video report on the incident on their webiste.
While the Times Colonist described the night in question with a complete wrap up in their sports section.

On-ice punch merits charge,
police say Investigators recommend Salmon Kings forward Robin Gomez be charged with assault for March 1 fight
Rob Shaw Times Colonist
Monday, March 17, 2008
Left-winger Robin Gomez has already been suspended by ECHL officials after he punched Las Vegas Wranglers star forward Chris Ferraro in the face during a game March 1 in Victoria. Police are recommending a charge of assault against a Victoria Salmon Kings hockey player who punched a member of the opposing team during a game March 1.

Left-winger Robin Gomez has already been suspended by ECHL officials after he surprised Las Vegas Wranglers star forward Chris Ferraro with a hard punch to the face during the second period of a game at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. Ferraro hit his head on the ice and required eight stitches to close a cut. He later filed a formal complaint with police.

A subsequent investigation, including interviews with numerous players and league personnel, has determined there is enough evidence to send an assault charge to provincial Crown prosecutors, said Sgt. Grant Hamilton, Victoria police spokesman.

Crown counsel will then weigh the strength of the police case, the likelihood of a conviction, and whether it is in the public interest to proceed with taking Gomez to court.

The police report contains interviews with Gomez, Ferraro, witnesses, referees, and league officials, said Hamilton.

"Based on the interviews we will recommend a charge, but it is up to them to decide whether it meets the charge approval threshold," he said.

"I know it is one of those situations which happened within a sporting environment, and I guess it is for Crown to determine whether it is excessive or not, or out of the normal scope of the game," Hamilton added.

The Salmon Kings have said publicly they do not condone Gomez's behaviour. Ferraro, meanwhile, told media the punch "was the most cowardly thing I've ever seen in my entire hockey career."

Police say the file will be officially handed to prosecutors in the next couple of weeks.

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